Breaking points

The Morality trait has been replaced by Integrity. Integrity measures how well a character can cope with the traumatic and supernatural events of his life. A character stands to lose Integrity when she experiences a breaking point. When a character performs certain actions or endures certain experiences, he might reach a breaking point. A breaking point (replacing a “sin” in the original rules) simply means that what a character has done or seen has outstripped his ability to rationalize or handle it. A breaking point can fall into one of the following categories:

  • The character performs an action that either violates his personal moral code or that is considered unacceptable in society.
  • The character witnesses something traumatic, terrifying, or that rattles his understanding of the world.
  • The character is the victim of a supernatural attack, whether physical, emotional, or mental.

Breaking points are somewhat subjective, obviously. A homicide detective with 30 years of experience in seeing dead bodies and hearing confessions of killers has a some-what higher tolerance for human depravity than a sheltered 20-something in a middle-class liberal arts college. During character creation, it might be advisable for the Storyteller to come up with several hypothetical situations, so that the player can determine if, in her judgment, those situations would be breaking points.

Note that a breaking point is not necessarily something that the character considers wrong. A character might kill someone in a clear-cut, unambiguous case of self-defense, but the experience is probably still a breaking point, even if the player (and the character!) feels the act was entirely justified. Actions take a toll on the psyche, regardless of whether the actions were righteous.

During character creation, the player should answer the following five questions. Each question provides a breaking point for the character. If, during the character creation process (or the Network process described in Chapter One), additional breaking points become apparent to the player, add them to the list. There’s no limit to how many breaking points a character can have.

The list isn’t a strict list anyway; the Storyteller can stipulate that a given occurrence is a breaking point regardless of whether or not it appears on the players’ list. However, the better-defined your character’s outlook is, the better your Storyteller’s understanding will be of what constitutes a breaking point for that character.

Breaking point questions

Breaking points

Rage against the God-Machine andreas_hollmer andreas_hollmer